Invisible Threads: Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Guatemala by Investing in Women and Girls

In recent years, a growing proportion of migrants at the US southern border have come from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. This surge of migrants has prompted the US government to seek to address the root causes of migration from the region. As this strategy is further elaborated, a deeper look at human lives in the context of the forces shaping migration is warranted.

This report focuses on factors that are driving migration from Guatemala—and in particular, the lives of women and girls in the context of these factors. The status, health, and well-being of women and girls are intertwined with many of the challenges driving migration from Guatemala, yet they face persistent inequality in education, the labor force, health care, and family life. Limited investment in sexual and reproductive health, in particular, has stalled meaningful progress in the realization of rights and opportunities for women and girls. Data and stories in this report demonstrate how a deeper understanding of the intersecting challenges and opportunities facing women and girls will strengthen policies and programs designed to address the root causes migration.